Rule of Life

On Tuesday, July 31 from 6:30-8:30pm in the sanctuary at Restoration, I’ll be leading a mini-workshop on how to create a personal rule of life.

A Rule of Life is a tool rooted in the monastic tradition and it used take inventory of all aspects of our life, to create intentional goals, and to measure our progress toward our God-given callings, goals, and responsibilities.

The idea started by a monk named Benedict to help create order and stability for the monks in his monastery. He wasn’t the first to try such a thing, but he was the first to create a rule of life that was actually livable. So despite it being strict, it was helpful because it led to flourishing and growth for those in his monasteries. And there are still Benedictine monks to this day living by his rule for life.

If you feel like your life is overwhelmingly busy. Or if you are in a season of questioning and discerning your calling, especially as it relates to work. Or if you feel like you are doing things you don’t want to do and never getting to the things you actually want to do. Or if you feel like you have been in a spiritual rut and not growing, it can be helpful to press pause, take stock of where you are going and what you are doing in order to see if it is taking you where God wants you to go. Creating a personal rule of life is a helpful tool to do that.

It is just a tool, and it certainly isn’t the only thing you can do. You can go for a walk, call a friend, pray, lift weights, take a deep breath, journal. But some of these things might be habits you want to regularly incorporate into your daily schedule and rhythms. A rule of life will help you find a place for them in your already packed schedule… ūüôā

That’s the gist.

We’ll spend a bit of time talking about what a rule of life is and how to put one together for yourself.

I should note I learned about all of this from a good friend and mentor named Steve Macchia who wrote the book on creating a personal rule of life. I’ll be using it to structure our time together. Feel free to buy a copy for yourself if you want to go deeper. It is very well done!

I hope you will consider coming next Tuesday, July 31st. Bring a journal or notepad.

If you have questions or want to let me know you are coming, email me. Thanks!

– Scott

Announcing the hire of Rev. Beth Tipps!

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It brings me great joy to announce that we have hired Rev. Beth Tipps of Nashville, TN as an associate rector at Restoration.  Beth is a newly ordained Anglican Priest in the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others, which is under the leadership of Bishop Todd Hunter.   She received her ordination in September 2017. 

For the past 13 years Beth has worked in various political offices both on Capitol Hill and most recently in the governor’s office in Nashville. Currently she serves in a volunteer capacity at St. Mary of Bethany Anglican Parish, preaching and celebrating at services.

As an ordained Anglican priest, former DC resident, former volunteer and seminarian at The Falls Church Anglican, practiced small group leader, and life-long follower of Jesus, Beth will bring the set of skills, experiences, and spiritual gifts for which we have been searching.

She will start in October and will be with us at our fall retreat.  Thanks be to God!

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I also want to take a moment to thank Kat Downs and Becky Mohr who directed the 5 month process that lead to the hiring of Beth.  They created and managed an excellent search, they formed a team that gave dozens of hours to interview, review, and write feedback.  They have been tireless, cheerful, and hopeful throughout.  Thank you.  It was an honor to work alongside them in this project.

Thanks be to God for His gracious provision of Rev. Beth Tipps!¬† We look forward to getting to know her and working alongside her in the vision to see broken people restored by grace and finding their place in God’s story.


Welcome back, Scott Buckhout!

Scott Buckhout

This Summer, Scott Buckhout is returning to Restoration to serve as our Summer Pastoral Associate.  You will see a lot of him on Sundays, leading us through the liturgy.  He will also be helping out with a summer small group and community fun.

Scott is a student at Gordon-Conwell and a postulant for ordination under the care of our bishop, John Guernsey.  I am grateful for all the ways he has served at Restoration in the past and I am excited about the opportunity we get to invest in his pastoral development this summer.  Look for him this Sunday and say, Welcome Back!


A few words from Scott, himself…

I grew up in Northern Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio (The greatest city in the world!). My parents still live in the house where I grew up. It is a gift to still get to go “home.”

I went to greatest school in America: Davidson College (Fun facts: I was the back-up mascot, and Steph Curry came to my apartment Christmas party). Upon graduating, I moved up I-95 to DC where I was a Falls Church Fellow. I ended up staying in the DC area for 9 years, mostly working in the federal government.

In 2014, I left government and started actively discerning a call to pastoral ministry. In the fall of 2016, I started at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and I am somewhere between halfway and two-thirds of the way done. ūüôā

The one consistent part of my 9 years in DC was being a part of the Restoration church family. My first Sunday was Restoration’s first Sunday, and I have been coming back ever since. Restoration has been the place where God has invited me to trust Him with more my life, and it is a joy to be back again this summer.

An update on Holy Orders for women in the ACNA

The College of Bishops for the Anglican Church in North America met in conclave from September 5-7 in British Columbia, Canada.  Here is the statement that they made at the conclusion of their time.

They met to discuss the report of the Theological Task Force on Holy Orders.  The report itself is over 300 pages long and well worth the time it takes to digest it.  You will see the careful thinking of the writers and you will learn a lot about church history and church polity.  The report underlines the reality that every decision has decades of background and convictions that shape the assumptions which lead to the final conclusions.

In the social media space, many people have reacted to the report that lead into the conclave and then subsequently to the decision that was made by the College of Bishops at the conclave.

I want to give my brief thoughts as the pastor of Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington, VA.¬† I speak for myself.¬† Restoration is a church that joyfully affirms the leadership and gifts of women in every part of our life together.¬† We have women who are elders (vestry members), small group leaders (for kids, youth, and adults who are male and female), and priests (ordained clergy).¬† I want to be clear that not all of Restoration’s members agree with my view.¬† But we live in charity with one another and we work in mission alongside each other.

My response to the College of Bishops Statement

Generally I was thrilled by the conclusions of the College of Bishops for 4 reasons:  

  • First it was unanimous.¬† Currently, in the Anglican Church of North America, about 17 dioceses do not ordain women to the priesthood and 13 dioceses do ordain women to the priesthood.¬† There is significant disagreement on this issue within our province.¬† So to have a unanimous vote is quite incredible.¬† By the grace and discernment of the Holy Spirit, they found words to articulate a way forward in which all the bishops could agree.¬† Thanks be to God!
  • Second,¬† their statement does NOT say‚ÄĒ¬† we agree that some of us believe this and some of us believe that.¬† We know there are differing opinions and convictions.¬† Saying, ‘We disagree’ would have been a non-statement.¬† Instead, they stated the elements where they found agreement and how our province could remain together even though there is disagreement on this issue.¬† Thanks be to God!¬†¬†
  • Third, the statement acknowledges that “Anglicans have differing principles of ecclesiology and hermeneutics that are acceptable within Anglicanism and lead to divergent conclusions regarding women‚Äôs ordination to the priesthood.”¬† This statement affirms the beauty and charity of Anglicanism.¬† We find our authority in the unchanging Scriptures and that people who trust the Bible have come to different conclusions on this issue.¬† But we can stay in relationship with each other.¬† Thanks be to God!
  • Fourth, as expected, the bishops agreed that the ordination of women cannot be mandated across the whole province.¬†¬†The College of Bishops decided that each bishop and diocese will be able to make that decision for their diocese but not for other dioceses.

    To be clear, this is the way we talk about the leadership of women in our church, here at Restoration:  all of us have to decide what we believe about the expression and use of gifts that God has given to women.  You can make a Biblical case to limit the role of women and you can make a Biblical case for women to use their gifts in all aspects of the parish.  Restoration strongly encourages women to lead, teach, and serve in every part of our church.  Thanks be to God!

I encourage you to read the statement from the conclave.  And to dig into the 300 page report that was prepared over 5 years.  It is excellent work.

As always, feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns.  I love Restoration and I am grateful that our bishops have made a way for us to continue our Biblical practice of affirming the leadership, teaching, and serving gifts of women in our parish.  Thanks be to God!


The Rev. Nathan Dickerson

The Dickerson Family

Nathan and Stephanie Dickerson
Lizzie (5th grade), Maggie (Kindergarten), Rachel (3rd grade)


It brings me great joy to introduce you to our new Associate Rector for Small Groups and Church Planting, Nathan Dickerson! ¬†Nathan and his family currently live in Minnesota, but are planning to move to Arlington later this summer. ¬†We can’t wait to have all five of them here.

Nathan will be coming to Restoration from Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul where he has served as the rector since 2011. ¬†Before that he was an associate pastor from 2005-2011 at Church of the Apostles in Raleigh, NC where he coordinated small groups, new member classes, and provided oversight for men’s and women’s ministries. ¬†Prior to that role in the local church, Nathan was on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at NC State from 2001-2005. ¬†In 2002, he received the Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL.

In a few weeks, we will give Nathan and Stephanie the opportunity to tell us more about their family in this space.  In the meantime, I invite you to pray for all 5 of them as they embark on a major transition from MN to VA.  Specifically pray for a home in Arlington County and for the girls as they finish school and anticipate school in a new place.  And give thanks to God for this very good gift to Restoration and the work we are doing.


Wardens’ Report: keeping you informed



Welcome to the first “Wardens’ Report” — a brief summary of Vestry meetings to help demystify our work and provide some information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

We recognize that as Restoration grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to know how things are going. We hope this summary will be helpful as you pray for our church and consider the ways you will engage in our community.

Restoration’s Vestry met last Tuesday evening, as it does each month, to oversee the business of the church. Here are some highlights:

When we met with Bishop John Guernsey two weeks ago, he encouraged us to devote more meeting time to prayer. This was no doubt a wise and godly suggestion but also daunting, given our scarce meeting time. We embraced his advice by changing our routine in a couple of ways. We met in the sanctuary to kneel in prayer, and we raised issues unique to a specific area of ministry:  Kat Downs and her vital ministry as Director of Operations. Next month, we’ll focus on another.

We are just over a year into the implementation of the new strategic plan for the five year time period ending 2019. Last year’s focus was to complete our building project and ground ourselves in our new space. This year we are focused on hiring key positions to our staff team. The hiring process for a Senior Director of Discipleship and Church Planting is well under way. Another key hire for our team planned for 2015 is a Youth Ministry Coordinator to fill the position that will be vacated when Clay and Rachel move.

Mac Wheatley‚Äôs treasurer‚Äôs report showed that giving and spending through the first half of the fiscal year were both about 94% of budget; the operating reserve is strong at more than three months of budgeted expenses; and average Sunday attendance across three services since returning to Quincy Street is roughly 500 people ‚Äď 403 adults and 95 children.

We happily voted to recommend to Bishop John that Scott Buckhout begin postulancy, the formal process that may lead to ordination. We appreciate the work of the discernment team that prayerfully met with Scott and provided a thoughtful recommendation. Other postulants from our community recently recommended to Bishop John through similar processes include Jesse Blaine and Morgan Reed.

Next January will mark the end of David’s seventh year of service at Restoration. As envisioned by our personnel handbook, and for the good of Restoration as well as our rector, we asked a team of wise leaders to prepare a plan for David to take a six-month sabbatical beginning in February 2016. We’ll share more information as the plan takes shape.

As always, please contact either of us or anyone on the Vestry if you have questions about the life of our church. We need your thoughtful input and constant prayers.

Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson

SG #19 Leadership with Cindy (and Bill Hybels has something to say too)

The local church is the hope of the world.unnamed

Everybody wins when a leader gets better.

These two statements are the foundation on which Bill Hybels created the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, a 2-day conference held annually in early August. The summit is held in Chicago but broadcast live around the states and then later taken around the world. Each year the talks are published on a DVD and that’s what we’ll be using for this small group.

I have attended the summit a number of times over the years and it’s two of the most refreshing days of the year for me. I always come away pumped up and ready to tackle the world.
What can you expect? The videos will be anywhere from 20-45 minutes and we will debrief them and pray for one another. I have a few favorites picked out that have stuck with me over the years but I’m open to the group’s needs on picking the others. The few I have picked out:

  • Ever felt like this? The first video will discuss the source that helps us find our leadership vision – our “holy discontent” – the thing that we are passionate about to the point of acting upon it.
  • Do you ever have to help people get “there” – that point in the future where things will be better? The second video will talk about how to do that.
  • Do you ever feel like you‚Äôre running on empty in your leadership or just in your life? The third video will explore the dangers of this and ways to prevent it.

Hope you’ll consider this group so that we can get better together!

~Cindy Darnell

Register for your small group choice today!

Celebrating 2014


Every year, in the beginning of December, the vestry and staff gather to remember and celebrate. ¬†Somebody hosts. ¬†We bring in extra chairs and maybe a table or two. ¬†Everyone signs up to provide a dish– ¬†pork roast, green beans, brussels sprouts, lots of salad, lots of dessert. ¬†We put on festive attire. ¬†We find babysitters and come home from work early. ¬†We laugh and drink wine and tell stories and smile… ¬†a lot.

It always reminds me of these words from the prophet IsaiahР this prediction of what life will be like when God finishes what He started, when this new creation gets done, when this hard work of reconciliation to Him and to each other is over.

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.  And he will swallow up  on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.  He will swallow up death forever;  and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.  It will be said on that day,   “Behold, this is our God;  we have waited for him, that he might save us.  This is the LORD; we have waited for him;  let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Isaiah 25

Every year, the vestry and staff have a bountiful meal because we are mixed up in a work of God that points us to a bountiful meal to come. ¬†Our greatest hopes and longings will one day be met. ¬†And it will be like a ‘feast of rich food.’

And during this meal, we pray and remind each other to wait and to rejoice in his salvation.  He is good.  And He is near.

At some point, we all pick up our chairs and move in to another room. ¬†There is a fire in the corner and a beautiful Christmas tree. ¬†There is always a transition that is happening on the vestry at this time of the year. ¬†We said good-bye to Cindy Darnell, Santiago Sedaca, and George Patterson who have faithfully served for the last 3 years as vestry members. ¬†And we said hello to Hannah Royal, Christine Jones, and Ali Burke who are joining the vestry team as the ‘class of 2017’. ¬†Restoration is served by faithful men and women who pray and serve and lead for the glory of God and the great things He is doing in our church.

I also took a few minutes to remind us of God’s faithfulness in the past year. ¬†Things for which we should celebrate: ¬†mission teams that went to West Asia (twice!), West Virginia, and Cambodia. ¬†Our active partnership with AFAC, Casa Chirilagua, and Operation Christmas Child. ¬†We hosted the Archbishop of SouthEast Asia, an ordination, and a building consecration. ¬†We celebrated the birth of over 40 babies and dozens of baptisms. ¬†We created a new high school ministry. ¬†We gave generously, paid our bills, and sent over $100k to people and ministries outside of Restoration. ¬†We exploded in growth when we moved back to Quincy Street. ¬†We received such gracious hospitality while we worshiped at Little Falls Presbyterian. ¬†We went deep into 1 Timothy and anticipated the birth of Christ with icons and the preaching of John the Baptist.

Someday God will swallow up death forever.  It will be like a feast of rich food.

What an apt and beautiful picture of all that God is doing at Restoration.  A feast indeed.  Thanks be to God!


Vestry Election 2015


Restoration is lead by a team of ten people called ‘The Vestry’. ¬† I, as rector, serve as the chair. ¬†The other nine people are chosen by the congregation to serve for three year terms. ¬†The vestry assigns certain positions as a means to organize itself: ¬†two wardens, a secretary, and a treasurer.

Together, the vestry holds the vision of the church.  They provide funding for all of our strategic initiatives by creating an annual budget.  They give leadership oversight to critical areas of our mission like personnel, facility, outreach, and finance.  They pray every day for the church and they pray together every month when we gather to hear what God has been doing and to move forward in the plans He has given us.

On November 9 and 16, after each service, we will hold our election for the vestry class of 2017.  There are 5 people on the slate and you can read their stories, here.  Restoration will select three of them.

In addition, the church will have an opportunity to affirm vestry member Endel Liias for one more year of vestry service. ¬†Endel came on to the vestry in 2014 to fill a position that was vacated. ¬†According to our by-laws, he needs to be affirmed by the congregation to complete the term he is filling which will conclude in December 2015. ¬†This will be a simple yes/no. ¬†Hint– ¬†check ‘yes’. ¬†He has worked really hard and done a great job!

I invite you to pray.¬† The vote is open to any Restoration member (You know who you are. ¬†Your membership forms are in and you’ve signed TBGB). ¬†The vestry is a critical part of our life together. ¬†So, take a few minutes before you vote to read the bio book (on-line or in print) and to listen to the Holy Spirit for the 3 people God is calling to this team.

Restoration is well-lead.  Thanks be to God!


Another small group option: this one is all about faith and leadership


photoAt Restoration we care deeply that we should each grow as disciples of Jesus in every aspect of our lives. We want to be intentional about  how we exercise our faith at home, in our neighborhoods and at work;  so  every trimester we aim to run a few small groups on these topics. This trimester Lee and Elizabeth are leading a group which is thinking about how we exercise our leadership as Christians in all aspects of our lives Рfrom the kitchen table to the office to the gym?

We live in a town where good leadership matters.

But effective leadership is just as important inside a family as it is on Capitol Hill. Despite this, we rarely openly study or discuss the qualities of a great leader. It is easier to spot (and criticize) a bad leader. But how should you go about becoming an effective leader yourself? And what does it take to become a humble leader, one who uses his or her power to empower others rather than just horde power for him or herself? If you are looking for the ultimate answers to these questions, sorry…you won’t find them here. We are not the experts. But if you are wanting to explore such leadership questions- listening to the wisdom of others, sharing your own experiences, and looking at what the Bible and a Christian leadership book says about leadership-then we would love for you to join us this trimester!


Contact:  Lee and Elizabeth Pitts for more info:

Meeting:  Wednesdays. 7pm.

Ready to Sign up? here’s the link!


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